Foodies’s Markets, a 3-store, family-owned, urban grocery chain in Massachusetts, is one of the newest adopters of Airius destratification fans.
Foodie’s first installed eight Model 15 Air Pear fans last November at its 8,000-square-foot store in South Boston. Managers were so pleased with how the destratification fans warmed up the store for both employees and customers that they recently installed another system of seven Model 15 fans at their store in Duxbury, Mass.
Before the Air Pear fans were installed at the Boston store, employees, especially checkout clerks near the store entrance, complained about being cold, said Michael Stameris, facilities operations manager for Foodie’s.
After fans were installed on each side of the checkout lane and throughout the store, clerks told managers they now were too warm, Stameris explained. “I lowered the temperature in the store. But on the next day, they said they were still hot, so I lowered the temperature a second time,” he added.
The Airius Air Pear destratification fan system features patented stator technology to circulate hot air from ceilings in a direct column to the cooler floor below, balancing the overall store temperature and creating what is called “thermal equalization.”
Another factor that led Foodie’s to the Air Pear system was the fan’s low use of electricity and easy plug-and-play installation. Foodie’s electrical contractor, Richard Cox of Cox Electrics in Boston, simply wired the fans into the store’s overhead lighting system, Stameris said.
“These fans really use a small amount of current,” Stameris said. Store managers, using a thermal scanner, easily could see the temperature difference between the hotter ceiling area and the store’s cooler floor.
With the recent cold winters in Massachusetts, Stameris said some customers also complained about being chilly.
With ceilings of about 14 feet in South Boston and a range from 12 feet to 16 feet at the Duxbury location, the Air Pear Model 15 has worked well at circulating hotter air to the floor. Airius makes seven different sizes of the Air Pear fan both in free hanging and suspended ceiling models, which service commercial buildings with ceilings from 8 to 125 feet high.
Foodie’s also installed fans above its open case frozen food aisles, where managers believed that cold air was spilling out.
“We were pleased to find that the column of air is so pinpoint to the floor that we could install the fans only two or three feet off the center of the open cases,” Stameris said. “It’s very precise.”
At Foodie’s Duxbury store, one manager’s office is located on an elevated mezzanine area. She said that her work area was too warm, while employees on the floor below the mezzanine were too cold, Stameris said.
Groceries, with frozen food aisles, open refrigerated cases and entrances frequently opening and closing for shoppers, make it tough for managers to keep thermostats at their set points and are an anomaly when it comes to keeping temperatures balanced, Stameris said.
“I’m a believer in the Air Pear system,” he said. “I’ve seen firsthand how it has helped.”